In the recent presidential debates both candidates want to have the zinger of a line that everyone is talking about the next day. They both want the final word.
If this were a debate, Paul sums up his point of who Jesus is with the plain statement in verse 19, “For in Him all the fullness of deity was pleased to dwell.” In 2:9 Paul hits it again, “For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”
Jesus is God. All the fullness of deity dwells in Him. Jesus is called the Word in John 1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… [and a little later] And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Hebrews 1:3 “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
What we should take from this teaching about the nature of Jesus is that he is the image of God, the fullest, most visible demonstration of his glory. If you want to know the invisible God you have to look at the one who has been made flesh who is before all things and through whom all things come together.
Paul sums it all up: Jesus is preeminent. Jesus is supreme. He is the Lord God, having taken on flesh and who made his dwelling among us. If Jesus is not divine, then work on the cross has no power. His teaching is no different than any other teaching. But because Jesus is God, his work accomplished salvation and his teaching gives life.